Top half-marathon preparation tips for everyone
Although half-marathon might not be as prestigious of a distance, it requires quite a lot of physical endurance, emotional strength and preparation. A 21 kilometre-race is a challenge for most running novices, so this easy-to-follow selection of preparation tips should come in handy if you’re preparing for your first race.
Before even starting to prepare for a race, there a few steps you should take.
First of all, make sure you can handle it. If you are not able to run a half-marathon (or a similar) distance a week or two before the event, you really shouldn’t go.
Overall, you should plan to run for about half a year in advance and register for a race around the same time.
Start training 20 weeks in advance if you’re a complete novice, 16 weeks if you have some experience and at least 12 weeks if you’re advanced.
You should have a training plan in front of you when you decide on participating in a half-marathon. It will help you stay on track and get ready for the race right on time.
Make sure the plan doesn’t interfere with your everyday life, as additional stress will certainly not help you get in shape before the event.
Also, don’t overdo it. There’s no need to train to get the best time possible or beat the half-marathon the fastest. Extensive exercises might lead you to exhaustion and result in a bad performance, especially if you’re a beginner. After all, most trainers don’t recommend running a week before any race for a reason.
Mix up the distances when training. If you look at most of the marathon and half-marathon guides online, they will tell you that you should have a longer run once a week, gradually increasing the distance each week building up to the race. In between those, make sure to run shorter, 4-8 km, distances.
Building up to the race
Apart from physical training, you should focus on three key elements: food, water and sleep.
What you eat is what you get at the end of the journey, so make sure to watch what you consume. Processed carbs and sugar should not be on your radar, while complex carbs, unsaturated fats and a smaller per cent of proteins should be taken in.
You should also remember to train running with a water bottle since you would have to drink on the run. Remember, stay hydrated not only during the race or training but in your everyday routine as well.
At last, but not least, make sure you get plenty of sleep during your training, and especially before the race, as it’s crucial for your performance. Additionally, rest well when you’re not running.